Title: Finding the Truth (The 'There's No Such Thing as Too Much Cheese' Remix)
Remix of: The Poem of Air by Jocondite
Pairing: BB/DM, minor VM/EW, minor OB/EW
Genre/Setting/Scenario: Dom just has to have fondue! And he has to have it now! Lucky his friends are so accommodating.
Author's Notes: This is based on the by turns hilarious, serious, romantic and utterly charming story The Poem of Air by Jocondite. I do not often write BB/DM and admit to sneaking in a little of my own favorite pairing, but I love the chance to try something new! I hope I do your story justice! This was written for the 2006 Lotrips Remix.
Disclaimer: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.
"Coronet's shite man," Orli announces, hands waving in the ridiculous way they always did when he emphasized some extremely important point... well, important to him.
Viggo bites back a growl as he slaps the offending hands carefully out of his line of sight and the steering wheel, as he carefully maneuvers the car around a hairpin turn. He wonders momentarily why he always ends up with the chore of driving on these excursions, but the very idea putting his life in the hands of one of the others makes his blood run cold.
"Keep obstructing my vision, elf, and this car's going to take a little cross-country detour," he says in his quietest tone, the one that makes his son obey no matter what mood he is in. Somehow, these boys are not quite as obliging.
As if on cue, Elijah, who really should know better, pipes up from the backseat, "Orlando, quit it, man, or he'll drive slower. If that's even possible. And some of us would like to get home and soak the snowboarding pain away."
Viggo glances at the trio in the backseat, long enough to notice Elijah using Dom's shoulder as a pillow, Dom using Billy's and the eldest hobbit looking squished against the window. Now that he appears to mind- he's too busy looking at the drowsing, muttering Dom.
"But Coronet sucks, ‘Lij," the elf whines in a pitch that makes dogs wince. "The snow there was all slushy and the runs were all crowded and the cafeteria was manky. I said we should have gone to treble Cone, I told you-"?
His knuckles ache from where he involuntarily clutches the steering wheel tighter in response to the whine, but his voice emerges in that same evil calm, "It would have taken over an hour longer to drive to Treble Cone and again to drive back. We're shooting tomorrow, so we couldn't afford to take an extra three hours."
"Coronet's not so bad," Billy interjects hastily, and Viggo thinks that there is one other hobbit he would let drive, why doesn't he ever insist he drive? "I'm not raving about it, mind, but it's all right. Cardona, now, it's far better than even Treble Cone."
"We know, Billy. How many times now?" Viggo can almost hear Elijah's eyes roll.
"Lovely Gaelic name, Cardrona. The windy place. Shows excellent taste."
The soothing edges of Billy's accent ease the tension in Viggo's shoulders, enough to allow himself to be drawn into an argument about ski fields with Elijah and Orli. Eventually they wander into their favorite argument and mock each other mercilessly, though Viggo feels he scores the most points. Age has its advantages, after all.
He cannot help but notice the quiet from the other two-thirds of the backseat, so Dom's sudden announcement, "The fondue shall come to pass, Bill. I have foreseen it," followed by Billy's loud groan nearly makes him drive off a cliff. Still, he feels curious and slows down the car to a near standstill.
"What's this, perian?"
"I have had a holy vision," Dom announces, ignoring Elijah's uncontrollable giggles. "A vision," Dom continues, "of future glory and magnificence awaiting us. Fondue, my brothers of the snowboard. Cheesy goodness that it is our fucking duty to seek out and gorge upon."
And just like that, Viggo is hooked, can almost taste the cheese on his tongue and sliding down his throat. He pulls over the car. "It is a sacred quest."
Orli and Elijah quickly and easily fall into line, but Billy looks ready to slit all their throats with a sharpened fingernail. Instead, he says something quietly to Dom that makes him snerk and slump against Elijah, before asking wearily, "Just where in Queenstown d'you expect to find fondue?"
And that, Viggo agrees, is a very good question.
The rest of the drive into Queenstown proves remarkably uneventful, everyone except Billy almost thrumming with cheesy-expectation. As he rolls down the streets, Viggo looks for some likely person to help them on their quest. He spies a middle-aged woman, who undoubtedly loves fondue, and pulls up beside her.
"Greetings, friend. Where in Queenstown might one expect to find fondue? Fondue made with cheese?"
She stares at them with huge, deer-in-the-headlight eyes, and Viggo senses three hobbits comitting dire mischief in the backseat. Orlando knows better, sitting right next to him, but he vows the other three shall not escape their just desserts.
"Well, there was that big French place... L'Iglu, right near O'Connell's," she stutters, eyes still on the backseat windows. Gods know what she is being subjected to back there. Viggo really does not want to justify them by looking himself. "Big glass igloo entrance. It closed about two years ago. Was a lovely restaurant; you took an escalator up into the igloo-"
Viggo feels mildly irritated with this woman for recommending a place no longer in operation. She mocks his instincts with her lack of helpfulness. "We are concerned with places that currently serve fondue."
The hobbits in the backseat huddle together in response to his voice, and Viggo notices Billy's slight frown at the way Elijah cuddles Dom and feels like scowling himself. The boy really tests the boundaries.
"Er- I can't really think of anywhere else, actually. Not for fondue."
Dom whimpers into Billy's neck. "No fondue! I'll perish, Bills, I'll waste away and die, and then I'll expect you to lie on top of my coffin and follow me into the afterlife."
"Dance on your grave, more like," Billy whispers back, but he pats Dom on the head anyway. "Pull yourself together, git. If you're that desperate, I daresay we can go buy some stuff and try and make something at home."
"We shall not falter in our quest," Viggo reprimands him in his most commanding tone. He fixes the woman with an unblinking stare, willing her to dare fail him again.
"You could try Roaring Meg's, actually. I don't know for certain, but it's possible they'll have it."
At last, something useful. Viggo rewards the lady with grave politeness as she gives him directions, before speeding off.
"Roaring Meg's! Man, is that the best name for a pub, or what?" Orli crows in his ears.
"Or a brothel," Elijah adds.
"Place with a name like that, they'd better have bounteous barmaid or it's false advertising,"
Viggo wonders how many of them actually care about bounteous barmaids.
The little colonial cottage adorned with the name Roaring Meg's turns out to be a complete disappointment appearence-wise. "All that is gold does not glitter. There is beer and fondue within," Viggo grumbles.
He senses the mockery of the others and fingers the sword at his belt menacingly.
"Um, guys? We've been out here for awhile." Elijah staves off Viggo's wrath and reminds them all of the bitter cold.
They head inside, appreciating the warm interior with its blazing fireplace. Viggo heads straight for the nearest waitress to ask the burning questions before everyone gets too comfortable. "Excuse me, ma'am, do you serve fondue at this fine establishment? Fondue made with cheese?"
"Yes, sir, we do," she replies, taking in his strange smile without so much as a blink. "Would you like a table near the fire?"?
They flop into seats, the hobbits and elf scrambling to be nearest the fire. Before they can order, Orli demands, "Why, um, is this place called Roaring Meg's? Are you Meg?"
She simpers at him slightly, but does not offer more than, "No, I'm not Meg. I don't know if there was ever a Meg. This place is named for one of the rapids on Shotover, Roaring Meg- you know the Shotover River?"
This declaration results in a long ramble by Orlando that makes Viggo tune out and stare blankly into the fire. He thinks vaguely of the strange relationship between himself and Elijah, the relationship he senses does not yet exist between Billy and Dom, but really, really should and how easily Dom or Orli could steal Elijah's affections permanently, if they wanted them.
Next thing he knows, Billy presents him with Orli's wallet on the end of a loud, "Ta-daaa!" He accepts with a flash of a smile, something almost nasty in its quality, a residual of the thoughts floating in his head. The piece of worn material disappears into his pants, where Orlando will never go, for fear of his life... and lack of interest on both sides.
He notices the way Elijah drapes himself over Dom, and Billy's not-very-well-concealed annoyance about it with a kind of weary resignation. Someday, maybe he'll just tell Billy to pounce Dom and have done with it all, please! And someday, he'll realign his own personal state-of-affairs.
By the time the fondue arrives, everyone besides Orlando sips their second beer. They all look eagerly at the fondue, until little forks are placed besides them.
Warfare breaks out for the next fifteen minutes, until Orlando screeches like a poleaxed pig and ends up on the floor. Dom sits there, holding his fork in the air and trying to look innocent. Viggo only hopes his acting as Merry will be a bit more convincing.
Elijah dunks the first piece of bread in the fondue, quickly followed by everyone else. "Tastes like a lot of alcohol in here," Elijah laughs.
"Yes, it's customary to add a fair amount of white wine. It delays the evaporating progress and helps the cheese stay liquid. Improves the flavor, too." He realizes he is showing off a moment too late.
"You're like, an encyclopedia, Vig," Orlando says, slopping pieces of bread into the cheese from off his fork.
In for a penny... "When Exene and I were in the Ukraine once, we stayed with a friend of hers who made fondue for us. She didn't use white wine. A whole bottle of vodka instead. The fumes themselves could intoxicate. I could barely eat it. There's very little alcoholic content in this, in comparison."
"I bet it's enough for Orli to get drunk off, though," Dom needles.
"Lay off the person you stabbed in the leg, would you?"
"Who th'hell keeps losing their bread in the cheese?" Billy demands loudly.
"You'll make it gluggy, doing that! Philistines!" Dom sounds truly like a man whose innocence has been violated.
Elijah and Orlando shift in their chairs, mumbling innocence in a way that makes Viggo wonder about their abilities as actors as well. He confiscates the last fork just as Dom reaches for it.
Unfortunately, he can do nothing about the bread and ducks out of the way as pieces go flying in a hailstorm that rivals the snow in the mountains.
When a new, and hopefully lasting, truce finally settles back over the table, Viggo notes Dom and Billy engaging in some sort of naughty eye fucking across the way. Feeling like a cheap voyeur, he turns his attention to Orli, who is wildly recounting Elijah's latest disaster on the slopes.
"He steps off the chairlift, see, and his bindings are loose as, and suddenly he's like, ‘whoa!"-
Viggo loses the story, which was not exactly interesting the thirtieth time round, anyway, as he dives to save a glass full of strong drink from ending up in everyone's lap. "Breathe, Orlando."
He might as well be talking to himself.
"- and the chairlift guy's like ‘nooooo!' and he slows the whole thing down, but the people have already got off and stumbled over 'Lij and there's like this massive pile-up and 'Lij just keeps repeating ‘fuckfuckfuckfuck' and it's so funny I can't -"
"Just shut up about it, Orli," Elijah snaps, surprising everyone with the sharp edge of his anger. Though Viggo feels less surprised than he might in other circumstances.
What does surprise him is the nastiness Dom sends Billy through his own angry glare. Its so unusual and so unexpected between the two men, that Viggo cannot help but puzzle over the oddity.
When the fight break out, he's still puzzling over the scene and misses the entire scuffle. Of course, it's hard not to miss when the fight consists of one well-aimed elbow to the gut.
"You didn't have to jab me so hard," Orlando whines, his tone matching the hurt puppy-look in his eyes.
And Elijah is so easily taken, so easily gulled into being stricken and apologetic. "I'm sorry, Orli. I just - I just wanted you to stop laughing at me, you know? You make me feel like a total idiot."
They stare at each other, and Viggo turns away to find one of the remaining pieces of bread and much it quietly. Until he notices Orli's glass appears to be full of beer. He looks automatically at Dom, who shares an equally horrified expression.
"Who the Hell let the elf get into the alcohol?" he demands with a real snarl. But he knows... he does not really need to ask.
Orlando scowls back at him. " 'M a grown man, aren't I? No one let me."
He begins to yell at Orlando for being such a stupid fool, but it's not really about that...
Viggo leans back against his chair, ignoring the way Elijah cradles Orlando's head on his chest, ignoring everything except Billy.
Dom's shut Billy out of the war of words currently going on between himself, Elijah and Orli, left him to sit on the sidelines alone. The wrongness of this action lodges in Viggo's chest, almost as deeply as the spear planted there by Elijah.
"Shut up about my body hair, you jug-eared gimp!" Orlando shouts triumphantly. He twists his head and begins to mutter into Elijah's neck, or rather, lick it like a hungry kitten.
"I think it's time we got you home, Orlando," Viggo says suddenly, keeping his face and voice impassive, though inside he's tired and oh so fed up.
"Don't wanna," Orli whines, still nuzzling Elijah. "'M happy, ‘Lij's happy... Billy's not very happy. Dom's not happy. Why aren't you happy, Sblomie?"
Viggo wonders if pretty boys come without brains as a rule or if he merely knows the wrong ones. The instant the thought occurs to him, he feels guilty and ashamed because it's a response to his jealousy and anger.
"Viggo's right, mate. You're beyond ratted. Time for you to get home, I'm thinking," Dom says in a slightly annoyed voice.
"It's snowing out,"Billy says, his first addition to the conversation in a long while.
"Fuck!" Elijah yells. "Fuck. How're we supposed to get home."
Every eye fall upon him instantly, and Viggo supposes he should feel flattered instead of annoyed by their reliance on him. "It's not far from the hotel, compadres. We can easily leave the car where it's parked until tomorrow, and walk back. I think Orli should get home; he's going to have a dreadful hangover whatever he does, and the more sleep he gets before make-up call, the better."
"I'll walk him back," Elijah says, trying to disguise his eagerness. "I don't mind going home now. You guys can stay."
Viggo turns toward him, his face calm with cold anger.
Elijah attempts to glare back, saying in a piping voice, "I don't mind. You want me to take you home, don't you, Orli?"
"Mmmmm. Okay, whatever," Orli murmurs, sucking Elijah's ear.
He never takes his piercing gaze off Elijah, seeing the cracks in the boy's facade.
"I said, I'll do it,"Elijah says once more.
But Viggo no longer listens to his sometime lover, already on his feet and struggling with Orlando. "I think it's best I manage this, don't you, perian?" He tugs a few bills out of his pocket and tosses them on the table. "This should cover it. Don't wait too long to come home. The weather's only going to get worse."
He just catches the words, "Piss off you bloody optimist," before he drags the staggering Orlando out the door.
Viggo strolls through the snow, his head down, his direction uncertain. He does not feel like going home or to Elijah's or anywhere at the moment. Coming to a corner, he stops, looks up... and nearly loses his breath entirely.
Dom and Billy stand across the way, their mouths fused in a no-holds-barred-edna-bar-the-door kiss that melts the snow falling on them. It's so hot and so sensual and yet, so right and pure that Viggo feels the effects himself. The bitter solid in his core seems to slip away, spilling out of him with every moment the two men across from him spend in their lip-lock.
Cause that's what he wants... not the pale imitation he currently possesses, but the white hot, soul-binding purity he sees in them... has always seen in them.
And he knows what he needs to do. It won't be hard or ugly or even sad because it's the right way, the only way.
He turns around, heading for home, but sending a little wish for good luck to the two men still entwined on the street. He's glad they found their way... and his.